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Kashmir and Self-Determination: International Law as a Way Forward

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An introduction to the situation in Kashmir, through a discussion of self-determination.

Kashmir and Self-Determination: International Law as a Way Forward

Contents:
Partition of British India and Kashmir's accession
United Nation's Interventions
Self-Determination and the Resolution of the Conflict over Kashmir
Human Rights Violations in Kashmir
Indian-held Kashmir
Pakistan-held Kashmir
Conclusion

Partition of British India and Kashmir's accession
In 1947, Great Britain partitioned its South Asian colony India, into two new independent countries: 'Hindu' India and 'Muslim' Pakistan. The status of the colonies 565 princely states was impacted greatly as a result of this partition. These small states which previously had no allegiance to either dominion, following Viceroy Lord Mountbatten's recommendation had to choose between these two new nations.

The 'Princely state of Jammu and Kashmir,' one of the largest of these princely states was constituted under the treaty of Amristar in 1846. Historically, Kashmir is known for its diversity and varied nature. Its physical environment and culture have been shaped by this diversity, and its peoples' distinct individuality and identity formed by it. The regions of Kashmir include primarily Hindu Jammu, the principally Muslim Kashmir valley, and Ladakh, a largely Buddhist region. Kashmir is the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent. Historically the term Kashmir was used to refer to the valley lying between the great Himalayas by the Par Panjal Range. Today Kashmir refers to the larger area that includes the Indian- administered regions of the Kashmiri Valley and Jammu and Ladakh. Kashmir contemporarily also consists of the Pakistani administered regions of the northern areas and Azad Kashmir which borders China.

The ruling prince of Kashmir, Mahraja Hari Singh, seeking to pursue independence was reluctant to pay allegiance to either domain. This was until a revolt arose against him by Muslim Kashmiri tribes in favour of accession to Pakistan with the help of Pakistani tribesman. The Maharaja sought India's help in pulling out these invaders, and was forced to ask for Indian military aid in exchange for Kashmir\'s accession to this new Hindu state. The instrument of accession was signed on October 27, 1947. Although Kashmir's accession to India was and continues to be criticized widely, as it is seen as violating the principle of self- determination, it was in fact catered for under the two British acts of parliament that partitioned India. The Government of India Act 1935, and the Indian Independence Act 1947(i).


United Nation's Interventions
The United Nations was involved in the conflict between Pakistan and India just months after the partition of British India. India brought the issue of Pakistani interference in Kashmir before the U.N. Security Council on January 1, 1948. Under article 35 of the U.N. charter, India alleged that Pakistan had assisted in the invasion of Kashmir by providing military equipment, training and supplies to the Pathan warriors. In response, Pakistan accused India of involvement in the massacres of Muslims in Kashmir, and denied any participation in the invasion. Pakistan also raised question about the validity of the Maharaja's accession to India (ii), and requested that the Security Council appoint a commission to secure a cease-fire, ensure withdrawal of outside forces, and conduct a plebiscite to determine Kashmir's future (iii).

The Security Council adopted a resolution establishing the United Nations Commission on India and Pakistan (UNCIP), to act as the mediating influence, and to undertake fact finding missions under article 34 of the Charter (iv). Shortly thereafter, the Security Council adopted another resolution in support of Kashmir's right to self-determination, and in recognition for the need for a plebiscite (v). The plebiscite would be conducted under the supervision of an administrator appointed by the U.N. Secretary General and certified by UNCIP. The resolution also called for withdrawal of armed Pakistani tribesmen and instructed India to reduce her forces. The Commission was informed that both countries had made the situation very complicated as Pakistani regular troops were already inside the borders of Kashmir and that the tribal invasion plus the Indian intervention had evolved into a larger state of war between India and Pakistan.

On August 13, 1948, UNCIP adopted a significant resolution, which consisted of three parts: the resolution called for a cease-fire between the opposing forces (vi), required Pakistan to withdraw its troops and use its best efforts to secure the withdrawal of armed tribesmen, and provided that the evacuated territory would be administered by local authorities after the withdrawal of Pakistani forces and tribesmen, India had to reduce its forces. The resolution restated the principle that the future of Kashmir should be determined by a vote of its people. The commission clarified this resolution by stating that the issue of Kashmir's accession should be determined by a plebiscite after the execution of the first two parts of the resolution (vii).

Both parties agreed upon the cease-fire line in 1949. This enabled the U.N. to finally send a Military observer Group to supervise the line (viii).
Despite its efforts, the UNCIP was disbanded in favour of individual U.N. representatives. These representatives worked to negotiate a plebiscite in Kashmir until 1953 but their efforts proved futile. The U.N. remained active in the Kashmir issue for many years, and the Security Council frequently renewed its call for a plebiscite (ix).

Internationally, United Nations resolutions have no legal enforcement. The relevant resolutions of the Security Council were also not binding under article 25 of the U.N. Charter, rather they were recommendations made under article 38. The resolutions adopted by UNCIP were also not binding, as UNCIP member Josef Korbel said in 1949, one “had to keep constantly in mind that UNCIP was an Agency of good offices having no power to impose its decisions.” The U.N. would also intervene to arrange cease-fires during the wars of 1965 and 1971.

There is one other key factor behind the failure of the U.N. to resolve the Kashmiri issue. This was the prejudicial attitude and competing interests of four of the five permanent members of Security Council. The US's suspicions of India's commitment to the non-alignment movement, alongside India's relationship to the USSR and China's support of Pakistan, ensured that any decisions made were constantly vetoed.

Self-Determination and the Resolution of the Conflict over Kashmir
The principle of self-determination stipulates the right of every nation to be a sovereign territorial state. It affords to each population the right to choose which state it wishes to belong to, often by plebiscite. The principle of Self-Determination is commonly used to justify the aspirations of minority ethnic groups. The principle equally grants the right to reject sovereignty and join a larger multi-ethnic state.

With regards to the Kashmir conflict, it is clear that Kashmir offered an ideological problem for both India and Pakistan. For Pakistan the Muslims of Kashmir had to be part of Pakistan under two nation theories (x), and for India, the failure of a Muslim majority state to survive within its system put under strain its secular vision.

While considering the basic principle behind self-determination, as article 1(2) of the Charter of the United Nations 1945 states: 'The purposes of the United Nations are…to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace…' we must also recognize that the doctrine of self-determination is also part of two more international human rights treaties: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (xi), and the International Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights (xii). Common article 1, paragraph 1 of these Covenants provides that: 'All people have the rights of self-determination, by virtue of that right they freely determine their political states and freely determine their economic, social and cultural development.'

The people of Kashmir under international law have the ability to determine their own political future. History clearly shows us that the conflict in Kashmir is one for self-determination. The positions undertaken by both Pakistan and India, however, have negated any possibility of self-determination. The international community's attitude toward the Kashmir plebiscite has been to ignore it and maintain the status quo. This stance however, due to the militarization and nuclear emergence of these nations has been forcibly accessed due to the increased danger of the situation. Recent alterations in regional politics, along with changing worldviews on terrorism, may hopefully open the door for an enduring resolution to the Kashmir conflict.

A question arises concerning the suitability of a plebiscite as the legal option to secure self-determination in Kashmir. The straightforward solution would be the implementation of the United Nations' resolutions regarding Kashmir. The United Nations' Security Council determined in 1948 that the people of Kashmir should exercise their right to self-determination through an independent plebiscite. These resolutions also recognized the disputed state as the unfinished upshot of partition, and its right to accede either to India or Pakistan.

Early on in the Kashmir conflict, both India and Pakistan argued that the appropriate solution lay in a plebiscite, and both claimed that a plebiscite would illustrate the will of the people. The U.N.'s 1949 plebiscite instructions became increasingly doubtful, however after the Simla agreement (signed in 1972), both India and Pakistan agreed that bilateral negotiations would be the best way to bring an end to the conflict.

Yet despite their desire for a bilateral solution, a third option still existed. It was the one favoured by The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and the All Parties Hurrriyat Conference (xiii). While other groups and political parties both within and outside Kashmir have consistently stated their support off and abidance to a free and fair plebiscite on Kashmir's future, conducted under the auspices of the United Nations, India, Pakistan and China categorically refuse it.

If one looks at the contemporary development of international law with respect to self-determination, particularly with regards to East Timor, there exist three principal arguments to be made in support of international enforcement of the right to self-determination in Kashmir.

Like East Timor, Kashmir's international legal status is uncertain. It is unclear whether Kashmir today exists as part of India, Pakistan or both. Again similarly to East Timor, the Security Council has outlined the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people through an independent plebiscite. However, the constant threat to peace that exists in Kashmir serves as a hurdle to achieving this right. In East Timor, the Security Council pursuant to its powers under chapter VII of the UN charter authorized an International Force for East Timor (interfet) to preserve the freely expressed will of the people. Threats to international peace are arguably greater in Kashmir than they were in East Timor. India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Kashmir, and the nuclear capabilities of both countries add to the dangers of elongating any chances for peace.

The evident relationship between systematic human rights violations or lack of representation within an existing state and the desire for secession clearly supports calls for international intervention in order to serve the interests of stability and peace according to the charter of the United Nations in Kashmir. So UN intervention in support of the right to self-determination is justified through the example of East Timor. As mentioned above, all international human rights bodies unequivocally agree both that human rights are systematically denied in Kashmir and that Kashmiris should be given the opportunity to exercise their right of self-determination. The conflicts in East Timor and Kosovo are comparable to Kashmir in this respect, and the legal framework applied in each case may provide similarly applicable solutions for Kashmir.


Human Rights Violations in Kashmir
The preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: 'Whereas it is essential if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.' Furthermore, article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares: 'All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reasons and conscience and should act towards one another in a sprit of brotherhood.' In addition under international law, all peoples have a right to self-determination. This reflects most perfectly the law's self-image as a guarantor of peace, human rights and democracy. If we look into the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, a general condition of lawlessness and mass human rights violations exist in both Indian-held Kashmir and Pakistani-held Kashmir.


Indian-held Kashmir
Human Rights Groups have uncovered in Jammu and Kashmir the internment of numerous persons held by military and paramilitary forces in long term unacknowledged detention and interrogation centres, and transit camps intended only for short-term confinement. Human rights activists fear that many of these unacknowledged prisoners are subjected to torture and some killed extra-judicially. There were attempts to restrict International human rights organizations and monitors from visiting Kashmir for investigative purpose (xiv).

Amnesty international and others have acknowledged how Indian forces have committed summary executions of Kashmiri civilians with total impunity. Atrocities such as shootings into unarmed crowds of demonstrators and firing on funeral processions occur regularly, despite the prohibiting of arbitrary deprivation of life under any circumstances under International human rights law. The government of India is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 6 of the ICCPR expressly prohibits derogation from the right to life. Thus, even during times of emergency, no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life (xv). The ICCPR also prohibits torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Articles 4 and 7 of the ICCPR explicitly ban torture, even in times of national emergency or when the security of the country is threatened (xvi). The Indian armies special task force (STF), Border security force (BSF), and state sponsored paramilitary groups and village defence committee - the principal government forces operating in Jammu and Kashmir (xvii), have systematically violated these fundamental norms of international human rights law.


Pakistan-held Kashmir
The situation is Pakistani-held Kashmir is somewhat different from Indian-held Kashmir. After Pakistani independence, the constitutional status of the Federally Administered Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan), is also considered disputed territory. It was once a part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir but now under Pakistan control. These areas are neither a province of Pakistan nor a part of 'Azad Kashmir.' They are ruled directly from Islamabad through a Northern Area Legislative Council which is headed by Pakistan's Minister for Kashmir Affairs. The Pakistani government's appointed Chief Executive is the local administrative head. The Northern Areas Legislative Council meets only when Pakistan's Minister for Kashmir Affairs convenes it. The arbiter of Pakistan Kashmir policy (Pakistan military) insists that the Northern areas remain part of the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir and that any demarcation of the region's constitutional status will have to wait for a solution of the Kashmir dispute. As a result, the Northern Areas are not included in the Pakistan constitution and unlike the Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA), are not represented in the parliament (xviii). Because of this lack of political representation, the people of these areas endure problems of sectarianism, unemployment, and lack access to information amongst other things.


Conclusion
This conflict is defined by an amalgamation of mutually reinforcing domestic and international factors. The International community must understand the needs of the post Cold War era and reconsider the doctrine of self-determination. To this day people still suffer from the consequences of neo-colonial domination. The international community should not reject or ignore movements of self-determination. Such sentiments as in Kashmir have only lead to numerous human rights violations, and killings. The doctrine of self-determination must play a central part in any plan for the peaceful future of Kashmir.
The Negotiation table and International Law offer the best opportunity for the final settlement of the conflict. This process of dialogue must be as inclusive as possible. Anyone willing to participate, regardless of their political orientation, should be invited to the discussion table to participate. This will serve to avoid a situation whereby any group that is left out of the peace-making process and feels it has no stake in it, from continuing to intensify the violence.
Taking into account the principle of self-determination, the international community has to assist and urge India and Pakistan into bringing stability to a volatile South Asia. In the democratic vein of anti-colonialism it is time to give true self-determination to the Kashmiris. It is also time for India and Pakistan to resolve this long conflict through finding a genuine, feasible solution through cooperation with the international community.

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ENDNOTES:
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  1. Under these two Acts, Kashmir became a part of the Dominion of India upon delivery of the instrument of accession and the formal statement of acceptance by Mountbatten. Under the law 'an Indian state shall be deemed to have acceded to the Dominion if the Governor-General has signified his acceptance of an instrument of Accession executed by the ruler whereby the ruler on behalf of the state declares that he accedes to the Dominion. The Indian Independence Act 1947 has no provision regarding 'plebiscite or referendum prior to, or as ratification of, accession by the ruler of a princely state'. But it contains that the dominions should continue to be governed by the Government of India Act 1935.
  2. Letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan to the Secretary General (Jan. 15, 1948), U.N. Doc. S/646/Corr. 1 (1948)
  3. The claims of self-determination have been usually associated with majority rule plebiscites and referendums. Plebiscites were an essential element of the application of self-determination. Plebiscites were held in several cases to confirm a region's desire to be annexed to the French state. The self-determination that emerged from the post-world war II texts and the practice of states under the U.N. system has been even more strongly bound to plebiscites. President Roosevelt emphasized the important role of plebiscites in the application of the principle of self-determination that had been articulated in the Atlantic Charter, 1941 He explained: The self-determination of boundaries and forms of governments was the most substantial contribution made by the Versailles Treaty 1919-i.e., the plebiscite method, which, on the whole was successful. Throughout the cold war period, during which self-determination was primarily applied in the decolonization context, self determination was inextricably linked to plebiscites and referendums. The United Nations sponsored plebiscite, in the exercise of self-determination as recently as 19999 in East Timor.
  4. S.C. Res. 39, U.N. Doc. S/654 (1948)
  5. S.C. Res. 47, U.N. SCOR, 3d Sess., 286th Mtg., U.N. Doc. S/726 (1948).
  6. Resolution for a Cease-Fire Order and Truce Agreement Adopted by the United Nations Commission on Indian and Pakistan, U.N. SCOR, 3d Sess., at 3, U.N. Doc. S/995 (1948).
  7. Resolution of the United Nations Commission on India and Pakistan, U.N.SCOR, 4th Sess., 399th Mtg. at 4-7, U.N. Doc. S/1196 (1949).
  8. See S.C. Res. 91, U.N. SCOR, 6th Sess., 539th Mtg., U.N. Doc S/2017/Rev.1 (1951)
  9. See, S.C. Res. 91, U.N. SCOR, 6th Sess., 539th Mtg., U.N.Doc.S/2017/Rev.1 (1951); S.C. Res. 96, U.N. SCOR, 6th Sess., 566th Mtg., U.N. Doc.S/2392 (1951); S.C. Res. 98, U.N. SCOR, 7th Sess., 611th Mtg., U.N. Doc. S/2883 (1952); S.C. Res. 122, U.N. SCOR, 12th Sess., 765th Mtg., U.N. Doc. S/3779 (1957); S.C. Res. 126, U.N. SCOR, 12th Sess., 808th Mtg., U.N. Doc. S/3922 (1957).
  10. The Two Nation theory was the basis for the partition of India in 1947. It stated that Hindus and Muslims were two separate nations by every definition, and therefore Muslims should have an autonomous homeland in the Muslim majority areas of British India for the safeguarding of their political, cultural and social rights, within or outside of a United India.
  11. G. A. Res.2200A , U. N. GAOR, 21st sess., supp. No. 16, at 52, U. N. Doc.A/6136 (1967)
  12. G. A. Res.2625, U. N. GAOR, 25th sess., supp. No. 28, at 121, U. N. Doc.A/8028 (1970)
  13. A Political alliance of twenty six political, social and religious organizations in Kashmir created to further the cause of Kashmiri separatism.
  14. Annual report, India,1999, available at http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/aireport/ar99/asa20.htm (Accessed on 20 June 2007)and Annual report, India 2001available at http://web.amnesty.org/report2001/webasacountries/INDIA?OpenDocument (Accessed on 20 June 2007).
  15. Article 1, Article 6, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  16. Article 4 states 'In time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation and the existence of which is officially proclaimed no derogation from articles 6,7,8 (paragraphs 1and 2),11,15,16 and 18 may be made under this provision.' International Covenant on Civil and political Rights, U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2200 A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, India became a signatory on April 10, 1979.
  17. The other Security forces deployed in Kashmir, the CRPF and the BSF, have combat duties and sometimes conduct operations jointly with Indian army forces; see more human rights reports 19999(Behind the Kashmir conflict: Abuses by Indian security forces and militant groups continue), http://www.hrw.org/reports/1999/kashmir/ (Accessed on 20 June 2007); and http://web.amnesty.org/report2004/ind-summary-eng (Accessed on 20 June 2007)
  18. http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=4748 (Accessed on 20 June 2007)


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Thomas M. Franck, 'The Emerging right to Democratic Governance' 86 American Journal of International Law 46 (1992)
Whelan, A., 'Wilsonian Self-Determination and the Versailles Settlement' 43 International and Comparative Law Quarterly (1994)
Williams, R. A, 'Encounters on the Frontiers of International Human Rights Law: Redefining the terms of Indigenous Peoples' Survival in the World' 39 Duke Law Journal (1990)

UN Documents:

Human Rights Committee

General Comment No. 12 The right to Self- Determination of Peoples (Art 1):. 13/03/84 CCPR General Comment No. 12 (General Comments)
General Comment No. 21 General Recommendation No.21: Right to Self- Determination:. 23/08/96
CERD General Comment No. 21 (General Comments)

Commission on Human Rights

Resolutions
E/CN.4/RES/2003/1 Question of Western Sahara
E/CN.4/RES/2002/5 The use of mercenaries as a mean of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
E/CN.4/RES/2002/4 Question of Western Sahara
E/CN.4/RES/2001/69 Promotion of the right of peoples to peace

Reports
E/CN.4/2003/4 The right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial of alien domination or foreign occupation
E/CN.4/2003/16 Question of the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination: Report submitted by the special Rapporteur
E/CN.4/2002/98 report of the Working group on the Draft Declaration on Indigenous Peoples
E/CN.4/2002/20 Question of the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination: Report of the special Rapporteur

Summary Records
E/CN.4/S.5/SR.6 Summary record of the 6th meeting of the fifth special session
E/CN.4/S.5/SR.5 Summary record of the 5th meeting of the fifth special session
E/CN.4/S.5/SR.4 Summary record of the 2nd meeting of the fifth special session
E/CN.4/S.5/SR.3 Summary record of the 3rd meeting of the fifth special session
E/CN.4/S.5/SR.2 Summary record of the 2nd meeting of the fifth special session
E/CN.4/S.5/SR.1 Summary record of the 1stmeeting of the fifth special session

Economic and Social Council

Decision
E/DEC/2001 The use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
E/DEC/2000/245 The use mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
Resolutions
E/CN/1987/61 Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
E/CN/1986/43 Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
E/CN/1983/42 Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples
E/CN/1982/47 Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of In dependence to Colonial Countries and Peoples

General assembly

Reports
A/58/180 Right of Peoples to self-determination
A/58/1115 Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/56/295 Right of to self-determination
Report of the Secretary-General
A/56/224 Question of the use of mercenaries: Report of the Special-Rapporteur
A/55/334 Question of the use of mercenaries-Report of the Special-Rapporteur
A/55/176/Add.1 Right of peoples to self-determination

Report of the Secretary-General

Resolutions
A/RES/56/232 Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/56/141 Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/55/86 Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/55/85 Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/54/168 Respect for the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of states in their electoral processes
A/RES/54/155 Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/53/135 Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/53/134 Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/52/119 Respect for the principles of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of states in their electoral processes
A/RES/52/133 Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/51/112 Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/51/84 Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/51/183 Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/50/138 Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/48/94 Importance of the Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination and of the speedy granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights
A/RES/548/93 Universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/48/92 Use of mercenaries as a means to violate human rights and to impede the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination
A/RES/23/2443 Respect for and implementation of human rights in occupied territories

Security Council

Resolution
S/RES/1495 (2003) Resolution 1495 (2003)
S/RES/1485 (2003) Resolution 1485 (2003)
S/RES/1469(2003) Resolution 1469 (2003)
S/RES/1463 (2003) Resolution 1463 (2003)
S/RES/1429 (2003) Resolution 1429(2002)
S/RES/1429 (2002) Resolution 1429(2002)
S/RES/1406 Resolution 1406(2002)

Sub- Commission on the promotion and protection of Human Rights

E/CN.4/Sub.2/AC.4/2001/2 Indigenous peoples and their right to development including their right to participation in development affecting them
E/CN.4/Sub.2/RES/2002/1 Armed intervention and the right of peoples to self-determination
E/CN.4/NGO/3 written statement submitted by the Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights

International Declarations, Resolutions, Treaties and other relevant Norms and Standards

Charter of the United Nations, Signed: 26 June 1945, entry into force: 24 October 1945.
Convention against Discrimination in Education, Adopted by the UNESCO General Conference on 14 December 1960, entry into force: 22 May 1962.
Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, 947 plenary meeting, 14 December 1960
Declaration on Social Progress and Development, Proclaimed by G/A/RES 2542 (XXIV) of 11 December 1969.
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Adopted by G/A/RES 2106 (XX) of 21 December 1965, entry into force: 4 January 1969, in accordance with Article 19.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Adopted by G/A/RES 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entry into force: 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Adopted by G/A/RES 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966, entry into force: 3 January 1976, in accordance with Article 27.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Adopted by G/A/RES 217A (III) of 10 December 1948. United Nations security Council Resolution 47(1948) of 21 April 1948
Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, Adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993.

Regional Instruments:

Simla Agreement 1972, An Agreement on Bilateral Relations between the Government of India the Government of Pakistan, signed July 2, 1972.
Tashkent Agreement 1966, An Agreement on Bilateral Relations between the Government of India the Government of Pakistan, signed January 10, 1966.
Lahore Declaration, February 21, 1999

Case Law:

Western Sahara ICJ Reports (1975)
Portugal V. Australia ICJ Reports (1995)

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